Look for the union label

I think it's fair to say that none of us Incertians are fashionistas--my personal fashion sense ends at making sure my socks match, and I do that mostly by wearing white ones when I'm not wearing flipflops.

I, however, am not the President-elect.

He has to wear suits, so I'm glad to hear the news that he's wearing something American-made.

The president-elect will be wearing a custom black tuxedo made by HSM, a suburban Des Plaines, Ill., union shop. Cost? $895 at Nordstrom department stores. Obama's latest purchase will add to his growing collection from the 121-year-old suitmaker. Earlier this year, he bought six suits from the largest U.S.-based menswear maker, which he wore throughout the campaign....

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to create a wardrobe for someone as dynamic as President-elect Obama and to participate, in however small way, in our nation's civic activities," Brett Schenck, president of Hart Schaffner Marx told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Equally positive is that we are being embraced as an American, union-made manufacturer that prides itself on quality, value and fit."
I'm passing on the opportunity to call this a union suit, mostly because I suspect almost no one will get it. But I am glad that, even in a decision as innocuous as this one, that President-elect Obama is going union, because organized labor has had an unfair rap in this country for too long, and an openly supportive President will go a long way in healing their reputation. Ezra Klein made the same point when talking about the situation Amy mentioned below.
One interesting side of Obama is that he managed to win the election without proving particularly reliant on any single interest group. Labor does not have much of a claim on him, and nor does the AARP, or the Sierra Club. So these sorts of statements are more significant than if Obama were simply giving the AFL-CIO some expected payback, as they suggest a certain level of authentic sympathy.
That's something that Howard Dean said back in 2004 when he was raising all that money in small donations--that no one group owned him because we all owned him. Yet another way in which Howard Dean seemed to presage Barack Obama.

So here's hoping for a resurgence in organized labor. We need to get card check passed, so that President Obama can sign it, and we need to get some good people in as Secretary of Labor and on the NLRB. And maybe the big unions can get together and start running ads with the "union label" song in them. If you're old enough, and you read the title of this post, you've probably been humming it the whole time, and you will be for the next week, because that bastard is catchy. I'll probably be walking to the beat for a month just because I wrote the words.
It says we're able
to make it in the U-S-A!!!!!!!!!!


EDIT: Amy Adds:

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